Saturday, September 20, 2008
Contemporary Folk Dynamic Duo
Friction Farm is Christine Stay on vocals and bass and Aidan Quinn on guitar and vocal harmony. Their strong musicianship and keen songwriting sensibilities made Friction Farm instantly likeable at our concert tonight. With just two people and two instruments, they created a warm full sound and displayed a diverse repertoire of fascinating songs and stories.
Friction Farm’s sound is grounded in Christine's vocal and lyrical intensity, that conveys a wide range of expression, intimate and vulnerable in one song, powerful and angst ridden in the next. With Aidan’s vocal harmonies thrown in the mix they recall the classic 60's sound. Then add Aidan’s the big jangly guitar strum. He’ll hypnotize your feet into tapping along, then snap you out of it with some intricate flat picking.
While the singer-songwriters are often described as contemporary folk, Friction Farm’s got some rock and roll roots. They’re a dynamic duo on stage, they might tell you a story that invites you into the depths of a meaningful song and then stomp their feet on the stage until you want to jump up and dance and forget it all.
In just a few years as a duo, Friction Farm has toured the East coast several times playing colleges and clubs promoting their debut CD Believe They have found a supportive base in South Florida performing at a variety of local venues from listening rooms like the Main Street Café, to great clubs like the Bamboo Room, plus coffeehouses, bars, house concerts, even grade schools. They’ve been invited to play many Florida music festivals.
He’s from Berkeley, she’s from Woodstock. They met in college where he was a guitar playing geologist and she was an engineer. After graduating, Stay began to learn to play bass just to join in with Quinn’s hobby but discovered a love for performing and for writing. Together they make a formidable team with a real yin and yang approach to music, lyrics and melody and harmony.
Friction Farm’s latest CD release 34 degrees, 32 minutes features nine songs ranging from twangy pleas for individuality to a delicate ode to the strength of a fellow musician. There are stories of civil war sailors, young protestors and lost socks with a great selection of musical guests to keep the CD moving.
Praises by others for their performances:
ON THE SAME PROGRAM WITH
A Man For All Strings
Opening our evening was Dee Harris, a virtuoso on any instrument with strings. Dee brought a half dozen diverse instruments to our stage tonight, and matched songs and styles to each. A guitarist for nearly 40 years, Dee, for the past 15 years has been studying many musical traditions and focusing on a variety of plucked stringed instruments and techniques.
Instruments as of 2003 include: Indian slide guitar, Sarod, Sitar, Lute, 4 & 5 string Banjo, Dulcimer, Mandolin, Mandola, Octave Mandolin, Bouzuki, Saz, National Steel Guitar, Rubab, Ukelele, Oud, Cuatro as well as Acoustic and Electric Guitar and bass.
Truly defined as a world musician, Dee Harris is a guitarist and multi-stringed instrumentalist of western music and Indian classical music. Celtic has always fascinated Dee, and he is well-known as an interpreter of early Renaissance music. A Blues guitar player for most of his life, Dee had the opportunity at an early age to study slide guitar and open tunings with Honest Tom Pomposello.
Dee excels in traditional bottleneck slide, song writing, traditional open tunings and many tunings that he invented himself. Along with his unique and raw vocal style, Dees live performances are (as some say) "The Real Deal".
Music of India: A guitarist and multi-stringed instrumentalist of western music, Dee Harris studied the North Indian classical music with sitarists Daisy Paradis and Kinnar Seen and he received further direction from the Sarodist Aashish Khan. His music is profoundly influenced by the the Sarod virtuoso, the late Pundit Vasant Rai. Unfortunately Dee never met Vasastji due to his untimely demise in 1985. He has learned immensely from the abundant live-concert recordings of Vasantji that has surfaced recently, and from his lesson tapes that he had left to his students that are now in Dee's possession.
As a guitarist, Dee Harris is largely self-taught. He has developed many new techniques on his instrument as well as redesigned the guitar in order to achieve the subtleties of the Indian classical music. His guitar has twenty strings: four of them for playing melody (SPSM), three chikari (SSP), four support (SGRN), and nine sympathetic strings tuned to the notes of the Raga being played. He plays this eclectic instrument with a slide as well as with the fingers of his left hand on the frets. He wears a thumb pick in his right hand and mizrabs (sitar picks) on three fingers.
Dee has produced a total of 50 CD's to date in a wide variety of styles: Blues, Appalachian, Celtic, Medieval, Indian, gospel. He also writes poetry and does artwork.
This was an exciting and varied evening.
Links to Dee's Banjo songs or visit his web site:
Our host tonight was Dave Waxman,
If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...